Winner of the 2015 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize
Winner of the 2017 Bob Bush Memorial Award for Best First Book of Poetry from the Texas Institute of Letters
Miriam Bird Greenberg’s stunning first collection, which roves across a lush, haunting rural America both real and imagined, observed from railyards and roadsides, evokes the world of myth (“I’d spent my childhood / in a house made of bees; on hot days honey // dripped through cracks in the ceiling,” she writes). Yet these capacious, exquisitely tensioned poems are rooted in Greenberg’s experiences hitchhiking and hopping freight trains across North America, or draw from her informal interviews with contemporary nomads, hobos, and others living on society’s edges. Beneath their surface runs a current of violence, whether at the hands of fate or men: she writes “Everyone knows // what happens to women // who hitchhike, constantly // trying a door to the other world made of lake / bottom or low forest, abandoned house // even wild animals / have rejected.” The result is a queering of On the Road, a feminist Frank Stanford at once vulnerable and canny. Richly textured, In the Volcano’s Mouth is an extraordinary portrait of life on the enchanted margins.
About the Author
Table of ContentsContents I Would You Believe Ophidia Valediction An Affirmation of the Unsayable Aunt Tracy Is the Trickster God My Brother Sweeping the Porch in a Halo of Moths Economy of the Next Life Heaven and Earth Westbound A Thousand Wires Humming Incantation II How Loss Inhabits a Body Shortness of Breath Killing A Ghost Country of the Erotic Imagination River Blindness Landless The Train That Devours Spirit Level Love Poem Animal Instinct Early on the Day of the Solar Eclipse III A Spectacular Reformation of Their Old Ways Soda Lake Them Featherweights Don’t Know Half Enough to Get Themselves Killed The Old Order A Field Might Catch Fire The First Time They Hopped a Train Living in the End Times I Passed Three Girls Killing a Goat God’s Ear After I Die Notes Acknowledgments